Let’s start by answering the question: no, nudity is not legal in Barcelona. You cannot, legally, go walking naked around the city without getting a fine of between 300 and 500 euros. It is also considered punishable going shirtless around the city in certain areas with fines between 120 and 300 euros. However, there are a variety of local beaches where you can go nude and enjoy the sun.
Where can you go naked on the beach?
Depending on the beaches you have gone to, you might have been caught completely off guard by seeing a person arrive, place their towel on the sand, start stripping and not stopping until there wasn’t any piece of clothing left on their body. If you have come across this, it means you were at a beach where nudity is legal.
It is very common to see women go topless in any of the beaches in the city but full nudity is reserved for a certain number of beaches. Nudists who don’t want to have to leave the city to bare it all can simply go to the Marbella beach, located in the neighborhood of Poblenou. This beach is located next to the Bogatell beach, which is not for nudists. There is no large separation between the two beaches, which doesn’t seem to make the nudists shy. Plenty of people who are not nudists also choose the Marbella beach for their day in the sun, including families, which just serves to show how natural nudity is in Barcelona.
You can also head to Playa San Sebastian at the end southern end of Barceloneta near Hotel W. Although it´s not officially a ¨nudist beach¨, it has a nudist area where going bare is completely fine. The area has great food and drink options nearby and is a popular spot for surfers.
Related article: Nude beaches in Barcelona
Nudist beaches in Costa Brava
If you feel like strutting around the beach in your birthday suit but don’t feel too comfortable doing so in the city, afraid to run into someone you know, we suggest that you head on to Costa Brava. Not only do some of their beaches allow nudity but they are also some of the most beautiful in Catalonia. Examples of nudist beaches in Costa Brava are Platja del Castell, Cala Nanas, Cala Estreta, and Platja Illa Roja.
Why the law was necessary
When nudism was legal in Barcelona, some people would go as far as walking their dogs in the middle of the Gothic neighborhood without wearing a single item of clothing. And while some might consider this normal, others felt offended, which they also had the right to be.
It is understandable that the city wanted to appease the situation, particularly due to the fact that Barcelona is a very touristic city, visited by many people who don’t come from such liberal locations.
There is also the question of public health, as naked people were free to go to any establishment and use public transportation, where many
people use the same chairs or seats.
In what regards the prohibition of people walking around without a t-shirt or in see-through clothes, the law served as a way to help people develop a sense of decorum, especially those who used to go into restaurants and stores showing way too much skin and those who also practiced this in public transportation, forcing others to have get uncomfortably close to other people’s naked and often sweaty skin while commuting to work.
Related article: Nudist beaches in Costa Brava
The nudists’ point of view
The people who practice nudism defend that the fact that people can be fined by walking around naked is a very serious and it is a violation of people’s right to freely express their bodies. They believe the nudism is a natural way to exist in communion with our surroundings and our own bodies.
Websites for nudists
There are several websites that offer comprehensive information on all sorts of activities and places to practice nudism comfortably. They practice sports such as jogging, horseback riding, speed biking, volleyball, they do cultural activities (exhibitions, theater play, screenings, workshops, conferences), and, of course, social activities, such as gatherings, trips, going on vacation together, kayaking, demonstrations, etc., all within a framework of defending the nudity in our society and, in particular, Catalonia.
Despite the law on nudism in public spaces, which is opposed by some, Barcelona remains as a very open-minded city, very liberal and welcoming to people of all races, beliefs, sexual orientation and any other personal preferences.
Looking for an apartment in the city? ShBarcelona is the answer.